The fact that both Caitlynn and Mitchell suffered injuries that almost knocked them out of “So You Think You Can Dance” this week made having what all four judges deemed the best dance of the night last night all the more sweeter.
The couple – now a hot on the heels of frontrunners Melanie and Marko – brought the house to tears with a moving contemporary number choreographed by Mandy Moore that closed the show Wednesday night. But, the dance almost didn’t happen. “SYTYCD” alum Robert Roldan was in costume and ready to fill in for an injured Mitchell just five minutes until show time.
We caught up with the pair after the show to find out just what happened and how they powered through.
First, you got the best comments of the night. What was going on in your head as the judges stood and said it was the best dance of the night?
Caitlynn: I’m dreaming, that’s what I was thinking. I was like no way. We were so in the moment in our dance and then all of a sudden we look over and everyone is standing and crying.
Mitchell: I actually started crying in the dance. I was like, ‘Oh my god I’m actually doing this right now’ because my foot was hurting so bad. Caitlynn was so strong because of her rib. I was like well if she’s strong, I’ll be strong. I’m not gonna let her down. We decided to go together, put our energies together and be like the superheroes. It was wonderful.
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And, Caitylynn you hurt your ribs earlier. How are they?
Caitlynn: I think we’re supposed to keep with the ankle situation.
Mitchell: It’s not my ankle it’s more of my foot, my muscle. It swollen like a tennis ball. I was just scared because I couldn’t even put my weight on it.
Caitilynn: And it was right before the dance.
Did you think you wouldn’t be able to dance?
Mitchell: Yeah. Robert [Roldan] already had his costume on and everything. I was sitting there looking at all the other dancers and I said, ‘Wait I can do this.’ And looking in Caitylnn’s eyes, she wanted it so bad.
What are you taking for your foot?
Mitchell: Just ice it and have it on pillows.
On a scale of 1-10, where is your pain level now?
Mitchell: 6 1/2.
How did it happen exactly?
Mitchell: I woke up and it felt that way. In rehearsal I couldn’t feel it. I went to sleep the night before the show and when I woke up I couldn’t even stand on my foot. It was really scary. She fought for it and I wanted to fight for it too.
Caitlynn: Robert stepped in and we had an extra rehearsal and figure out how to do it together and then probably a good 10 minutes before we were walking on, maybe 5 minutes, Mitchell was like I’m going I can do it.
Did you have to fight with production to dance?
Mitchell: Um, yes. Just because they are so concerned about us and they care about us. They don’t want anybody getting injured or hurt. And it’s live television, they don’t want me to pick up Caitlynn and next thing you know I fall on my knees and she’s falling with me. I said to them, ‘Look I got this. I’m not gonna drop her.’
Caitlynn: He’s jumping backstage, ‘Look, I can do it!
Mitchell, this is your second injury. The first one you didn’t dance on the first top 20 show. Do you feel jinxed?
Mitchell: I don’t know. I just feel like with this competition you go full out and there are things where things happen. I’m fighting for it. At least the judges can see that.
Your ribs feel okay?
Caitlynn: They’re fine. We’re feeling good. We’re ready to keep going.